Hudson Valley Restaurant Weeks - March 9-21 (Sunday-Friday)
Hudson Valley Restaurant Week will be held for two weeks -- March 9-21. Lunches are $16.09, dinners $26.09. Unlike last year, it will be Sunday-Friday -- last year it did not apply on Sunday. According to their website http://www.hudsonvalleyrestaurantweek.com/restaurants.php until February 21st, "From January 2nd through February 17th, 2008 American Express Cardmembers can make reservations at participating restaurants before the general public", but I just called X2O before noticing this and was able to get a reservation and they did not ask for my card.
The big news here is that X2O is participating so I HIGHLY suggest calling now for reservations (I had called last week but they were not taking reservations yet). I am not sure where else to try. Equus is on it this year so maybe I will try that. I had considered going back to Monteverde since it has gotten such good press of late, but it's not on the list. I am looking for a couple of places to dine at on the Sundays that are further away from Westchester than I'd normally drive on a weeknight. I had hoped that Beso in New Paltz would be on the list, but they aren't either. I recall reading good things about Iron Forge Inn during last year's RW so I may put that on the list.
Here is a list I cut and pasted from the website. Obviously there may be changes.
121 Restaurant & Bar (American, Westchester County
2 Spear Street (New American, Rockland County
Aroma Osteria (Italian, Dutchess County
Beebs (American, Orange County
Big Easy Bistro (Cajun, Orange County)
Blue Plate Restaurant (New American, Columbia County
Bywater Bistro (New American, Ulster County
Cathryn's Tuscan Grill (Italian, Putnam County
Charlotte's (European, Dutchess County
Cosimo's (Italian, Orange County
Cosimo's (Italian, Orange County
Cosimo's (Italian, Dutchess County
Cosimo's (Italian, Orange County
Crabtree's Kittle House (New American, Westchester County
Equus Restaurant (American, Westchester County
Gigi Trattoria (Italian, Dutchess County
Global Gatherings (Eclectic, Westchester County
Goldfish Restaurant (Mediterranean, Westchester County)
Harvest Cafe Restaurant & Wine Bar (New American, Ulster County
Il Barilotto (Italian, Dutchess County
Il Tesoro (Italian, Orange County
Iron Forge Inn (New American, Orange County)
John Michael's at Purdy's Homestead (European, Westchester County
La Puerta Azul (Mexican, Dutchess County
Le Chambord (French, Dutchess County
Le Fontane Restaurant (Italian, Westchester County
Locust Tree (European, Ulster County
Main Course (American, Ulster County
Main Course at Alumnae House (American, Dutchess County
Med 15 35 (Mediterranean, Westchester County
Mexican Radio (Mexican, Columbia County
Mohonk Mountain House (American, Ulster County
Nina (America, Orange County
Off Broadway (Italian, Westchester County)
Oriole 9 (Mediterranean, Ulster County
Pamela's on the Hudson (New American, Orange County
Raccoon Saloon (American, Ulster County
Reka's Thai Restaurant (Thai, Westchester County
Restaurant X and the Bully Boy Bar (American, Rockland County
Sentrista Grille (Italian, Putnam County
Shadows on the Hudson (American, Dutchess County
Ship Lantern Inn (Continental, Ulster County
Ship to Shore (American, Ulster County
Sonora (New Latin, Westchester County
Starr Place (American, Dutchess County
Steakhouse "22" (American, Putnam County
Sukhothai (Thai, Dutchess County
Tavern Restaurant (American, Putnam County
Terrapin (New American, Dutchess County
The Red Onion (New American, Ulster County
The River Bank (American, Orange County
)Cornwall on Hudson
The Tavern at The Marriott Westchester (American, Westchester County
The Thayer Hotel (American, Orange County)
The Village Tea Room Restaurant & Bake Shop (Eclectic, Ulster County
Torches (Eclectic, Orange County
Valley Restaurant (American, Putnam County
Vertigo Bar & Restaurant (New American, Rockland County
X2O Xaviars on the Hudson (New American, Westchester County
Just had dinner at Il Barilotto for RW last night. Being a long time customer at Il Barilotto I was incredibly happy with the RW offerings. My wife and I couldn't believe how delicious the selections were. I had the crispy polenta appetizer and the slow roasted pork for my entree. I was so full I could barely eat my dessert. After going to other places for RW and witnessing how they were being chintzy on the portions and the item selections I was really satisfied with my experience at Il Barilotto. Service and ambiance first rate as usual.
P.S. They are featuring new Italian wines by the glass to go with your RW menu (in addition of course) and they were quite delicious so check it out.
Last night we went to Sonora, a "Neuvo Latino" place in Portchester for the Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. Sometimes places stint on their selections for these promotions, but Sonora gave a lot of nice options.
Betsy started with a nice shrimp ceviche with avocado and tomatoes (they actually listed a red snapper ceviche, this was brought without explanation, but was Dish of the Night); my starter was a lobster and avocado quesadilla with chipotle, creme fraiche alioli, and guacamole. Other options were a salad with beets and a skirt steak empanada appetizer.
For main course, I had lamb chops with chimichurri sauce, served with roasted garlic and wild mushroom mashed potatoes. Betsy had a vegetarian paella (good, but too heavy on the yellow peppers). Other choices were striped bass and chicken.
Betsy took a couple bites of two desserts (as I don't eat), a too-sweet sponge cake and a good chocolate bread pudding. Sorbet was other option.
Just as with NYC Restaurant Week, these deals are a good way to try a new place IF the restaurant doesn't treat you as a second-class citizen. This was a good deal at $26 (about same as most main courses on regular menu). Portions were large, food was good though not outstanding.
John Michael's in Purdys (formerly Purdys Homestead and Box Tree). Amazing food, great service.
Relish in Sparkill (Rockland) was also a very pleasant surprise.
Tavern in Garrison was surprisingly good.
Valley is still great, even with a new chef.
Stoneleigh Creek was ok for the price but not for their regular prices and mediocre service.
Hopefully my comments are among some of those that you enjoyed on Liz's site. I'd better win the free tickets she was offering!
Went to Il Barilotto tonight. They're not posting the Restaurant Week menu on their site. The special menu was spot on: 2 starters, 3 mains, 2 dolci. Generous portions. We ate just about all the dishes offered. Here goes:
Pork shank atop an herbed mustard cole slaw. Pork shank was fall-off-the-bone delicious. Slaw enegized by the herbs. Would have licked the plate clean if at home.
Bisque with shrimp and mussels. Rich but not cloying. Stock had depth. Shrimp and mussels were very delicately cooked.
Fried Florida grouper over a bean puree with olives and tomatoes. Very well balanced dish. Bean puree alone would have made a fantastic dip.
Penne in a light cream sauce with peas and shrimp. Subtle flavors. Crowd pleaser.
There was also a free range chicken dish.
Chocolate mousse. Classic. Minced peach at the bottom of the glass was a nice touch.
Crepes. Hit of the night.
Service was excellent. One fun note: fellow in the party behind me wanted to bail off the menu for "chik parm with a side of penne alfredo." Server asked chef, then politely replied that chef was "unfortunately" only able to work off the dishes listed on the menu. I thought the staff was nice not to point out the Olive Garden is but a few miles up the road. I'm not an elitist, but come on! You can eat chicken parm with a side of glop at every fricken pizza joint in the northeast. The guy running this kitchen has been frying fish professionally since he was 14. Trust him. You're in good hands. If he writes it down on the menu, it's going to be good.
My mother and I went to Equus last night. I had the endive/ beet/ walnut salad to start, which was delicious- I could have eaten another for my main and been completely happy. The chef made me a vegetarian main course, consisting of mushroom risotto with egg-sized scoops of sauteed spinach (perfect) and carrot frisee over corn and green beans. My mother had the sweet potato and pear bisque to start, followed by hazelnut crusted tilapia, and declared everything delicious. For dessert I had the orange-basil Bavarian with orange foam, and she had the chocolate panna cotta. Service was outstanding throughout, and I would love to return- even if the menu was special for restaurant week, I'd like to see what they can do under normal circumstances.
Went to The Bird & Bottle Inn for dinner last night. I had the potato and cheddar soup (also had bacon in it), chicken fricasse (with mushrooms and root vegetables), and apple crisp. My mom had the salad (which came with goat cheese, apple vinagrette, and cranberries), the English short ribs (with a coffee-brown sugar rub), came with chipotle mashed potatoes and asparagus, and the chocolate lava cake. We both enjoyed our meals. The ribs were good except I thought the coffee rub made them a bit bitter, probably b/c I don't drink coffee. The other entree offered was a scallop dish, the other appetizer was some sort of tomato salad, and the other dessert was something with bananas...I can't remember quite what. The chipotle mashed potatoes were very good. The bread they served was also enjoyable...a sort of tomato foccacia, and cornbread with pieces of vegetables in it. I had never eaten there or been there before and it was a very nice cozy atmosphere, fireplaces going. They had the guest rooms open for you to look in as well. Overall a good experience!
Mr Bill2: "They have some cornmeal crusted trout, and chicken and pork dishes. None of them are their normal dishes, which is the problem"
YOu challenged me on my comments earlier, where I expressed the exact same complaints about these restaurant week type-events, Mr. Bill2. Seems that you are coming around to agreeing with me!
Yes, I would daresay that the majority of the menus served are NOT typical of the regular menu that these places serve. Why, Equus has the temerity to charge for parking ONLY during this promotion! I guess these restaurant owners think the public is stupid!
The problem is that you made it as a blanket statement. The fact is that not all restaurants serve dumbed down food. I had an amazing meal at John Michael's which was almost entirely from their regular menu (and the only one I could not find, my salmon entree, was good enough to be on it). I ate at Relish in Sparkill on Sunday night and it was right off their normal menu. Old Forge Inn in Warwick serves samples of two soups and two desserts and they are from the regular menu.
The trick is to check the menu in advance and only go to places with interesting menus. You want to leave the restaurant being thrilled with what you ate -- not just thrilled at what you paid.
I've not been to X2O this week but I did have a reservation for next week which I cancelled after hearing a few negative stories from people who went on Sunday.It turns out it is the same menu they had at X during the first HVRW a couple of years ago and I didn't like it then. It is not representative of X2O's normal menu.
I just wanted to follow up by describing our meal tonight. I am really happy we decided to go, because we had a really lovely time. We went once before (regular menu) and loved it-- we were reasonably pleased with service and food this time in the context of the bargain price. While I agree with MisterBill about it not being a normal representation of the menu, what we had was good for the price. And you can't beat the service and the romantic atmosphere and the view. That said, I would be annoyed if I went back next year and they had the same exact menu.
appetizers: mushroom soup, butternut squash "pudding" mold (they also have a salad with goat cheese)
entrees: cornmeal crusted trout with swiss chard, pork with star anise. The pork was eh. I was happy I got the trout, although a bit perturbed they left the skin on. We also feasted on their regular bread platters-- baguettes and biscuits. YUM. I did not see anyone near us get the chicken.
dessert: big on the molds i guess (ie, the butternut squash pudding), pumpkin panna cotta and chocolate timbale. The panna cotta was ok, I think pumpkin's a little out of season, and the chocolate timbale was verrrry rich and good but a little pedestrian. The coconut pudding looked good too.
My boyfriend had a really nice white wine, supposedly from the Hudson Valley, also on the special menu. The place is beautiful, the service was great, and I have no regrets about going.
Two quibbles: Our server neglected to tell us about 2 appetizer specials for RW not on the RW menu, a sushi roll and a goat cheese tart. We overheard them being recited to another table. In addition, dolores will want to note that parking, which I guess used to be free with validation, is now $3 for patrons of x2o. :)
Went to the Red Onion in Woodstock/Saugerties last night for the prix fixe dinner. Food was great, but think of it as a tasting menu, not a lot of quantity.
They were slammed for a Tuesday night, the bar was hoppin'. Unfortunately, the downside of the place was the acoustics. My ears hurt from the loudness of the place. You couldn't have any conversation without shouting, and, as a result, everyone was shouting. Next time I go (if ever), I will bring along a decibel meter. My guess was 120 dB.
To add more injury, the bartender decided to crank up the sound system, so it could be heard, adding to the din.
Due to the noise, I would have to give it a thumbs down, unless I wore earplugs (which is not beyond the realm of possibility).
was at la puerta azul today...here's what they're doing for the hudson valley week. all from the traditional menu.
appy: Homemade soup made with fresh sweet corn, leeks, roasted poblanos & cream. Garnished with truffle oil and mushrooms.
(and 2 other appetizers).
mains: Fresh Tilapia seared in a chipotle butter. Served with corn rice & tomato sauce with sweet peppers & olives.
Grilled organic chicken breast with mole coloradito. Served with sweet plantains and sweet corn rice.
Beef short ribs braised in Mexican red wine. Served with zucchini and a bleu cheese salad with guajillo-red wine reduction.
churros with chocolate , and 2 other dishes.
if anyone's counting on prices, the appys were 8 each normally, mains 18 (ribs 22), so if you were planning on a dessert, you'd come out ahead. not much savings, but since it's close by and convenient, i figured i'd stop by....
re: bob gaj
I went there today. The food was good, but I don't think it's a huge saving, especially when you have a drink or two. But then again, I don't think it's all about that. It really gives me and my friends some "excuse" to go out and dine during the week....
I had the cherry tomato salad, which was really refreshing, though I'd prefer it in summer. For entree, I had the chicken breast with mole coloradito. I'm more impressed with the sweet corn rice that came with the chicken than the chicken itself - I'm sure there's plenty of butter in the rice!!!
I had churros - well...to me, anything that's fried is good~
I believe the other two desserts are: flan with pineapple & almond cake with coconut sauce.
Overall, la puerta azul is really a fun place to go to in this area with friends. I'm going again next Fri with other friends...
Thank you Mister Bill for this incredible list.
Moving up here recently from the city, I was worried that the food loving side of me would suffer, but you have given me new hope and fun on the weekends for places to go and tastes to savor.
I have been searching around for your posts, cause I feel we have a similar quality of food and taste loves, I really appreciate all of your honest posts. god bless you!!! ( my wallet and taste buds smile on you)
Try Zuppa-Dave Dibari - is an incredible master chef and worth the try despite the location.
Harvest On Hudson - the menu for restaurant week has items from their regular menu - no skimping there, can't beat the view and parking is not an issue
Equus definately worth the savings despite the valet that has nothing to do with the meal.
There are a few new additions to the list. The two that I noticed are Ario Thai in Rhinebeck and Twist in Hyde Park. My wish list includes: La Puerta Azul, Ship to Shore, Starr Place, Raccoon Saloon and Aroi. I will be going to X20 (definitely looking forward to that!) and Twist...I'll try to fit in some more restaurants if I have time.
Several of the restaurants have posted their menus. I am very impressed with the menu at John Michaels, and made my reservation there after seeing it. I am less impressed with the surcharges at Equus ($5 for valet parking and $20 for the beef dish) but I will probably go anyway.
I have reservations at Iron Forge Inn, John Michaels, Equus, X2O and Valley. Still trying to decide where to go that 2nd Sunday. Locust Tree in New Paltz has an interesting menu and I would not mind driving there on a Sunday (I am trying to stay local on weekdays, I am in Northern Westchester). The Sunday Times has an interesting piece on RW and they quote the chef from Tavern, so maybe I will try that even though it's not that far away from me.
Sonora in Port Chester has a very nice menu, I may try that for lunch. Stoneleigh Creek in Armonk also has a nice lunch menu.
The problem with all these types of "restaurant week" events is that, although the price seems reasonable, this is a SPECIAL MENU! You are not getting the same dishes they normally serve, this menu is specially designed for restaurant week; and sadly, with the majority of these restaurants, the menu is VERY inferior to their regular fare.
Better to save up and do a splurge on a normal evening...
It all depends on where you go. Valley served really excellent dishes last time. Monteverde definitely was cheap in what they served. Kittle House also did a decent job. John Michaels has a standard $11 salad on their RW menu.
I think you are doing everyone a disservice by generalizing your own experiences and claiming that ALL restaurants act that way. You would think that an intelligent restaurant owner would realize that they are exposing themselves to hundreds of prospective customers and doing inferior stuff is a surefire way to ensure that they will not return.
You would think that an intelligent restaurant owner would not allow bad service or poor cooking, or dirty restrooms, either, but it happens alot.
As far as reporting on my own experiences, that's what these boards are for-- a subjective report on how one feels. Holding back is not the way to go here, IMHO.
Except you stated you claim that the dishes are not from the normal menu as fact. And it's not.
I've read interviews with multiple restaurant owners/chefs who have said that they see this as a great thing because it lets potential customers who might not normally eat there check them out
it is a set menu, but most of the dishes are from the normal menu - so you can get a good view of what the restaurant has to offer normally. Also, it's all about execution and service isn't it? you can certainly tell whether a restaurant has decent food and service - even if the menu is a set menu. They either execute and serve the dishes well, or they don't. it's a great way to try places you are not familiar with. We ate at the Kittle House on Monday and at Harvest on Hudson last night (John Michael was full *lol*). The food at both was very good, the service was excellent. I had not been to Harvest before and will definately go back - so I guess they achieved what their goal with RW participation. Tonight is Il Soriso. i'll report back afterwards.
I ate at John Michael on Wednesday night and the place was definitely jammed. It was also one of the best meals I've had in a while. I strongly recommend checking it out if you can get in during RW.
Let us know about Il Soriso. Last year, Liz Johnson from the Journal News reported that they did not serve their HVRW menu until 8pm. It will be interesting to hear if they changed this year. Someone already posted on her blog that they were not offering it for lunch (and she got really awful service when she ate there at regular price and ordered inexpensive stuff).
Thanks for the list Mister Bill. I'd like to try X20, Equus, and Valley Restaurant (I went to a wedding there once and the food was pretty good so I'd like to try it in a non-wedding atmosphere). The Ship Lantern Inn has been suggested to me but I've never seen much about it. Is it worth the drive?? Almost forgot, I've never been to Bully Boy, would also like to try that. Agree with dolores about avoiding Reka and also Shadows.